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Rights Group Says Oil Pipelines Through Burma Lead to Abuses

An international human rights group says oil and gas pipelines being built across Burma and into China have led to serious rights violations.

The Washington-based EarthRights International said in a report Tuesday that the building of the pipelines has been accompanied by cases of land confiscation, forced labor, arbitrary arrests, and torture.

It said Burma's army has been particularly brutal in crushing any opposition to the pipelines.

The group said major Chinese and Korean companies working on the pipelines are aware of what is happening and are not acting to prevent the abuses. It said its investigations have turned up documents that indicate secretive payments between the oil companies and Burma's military.

EarthRights said the companies have not obtained permission for the pipelines from any of the local populations. The group said it was not able to find one villager in favor of the pipeline projects.

When completed, the pipelines will transport gas from Burma and oil from the Middle East and Africa to China.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.